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Human rights organizations pointed at inefficiency of investigation into murder of Kateryna Gandzyuk

05.11.2019, 19:06

Ukrainian human rights organizations have declared that investigation into the murder of public figure Kateryna Gandziuk is inefficient and urge the law enforcement agencies to investigate not only the murder, but also disruption of the investigation. This is said in the statement published by human rights organizations on the ZMINA human rights center website.

 Full text of the statement follows:

Statement of inefficient investigation into murder of public figure Kateryna Gandzyuk

We, Ukrainian human rights organizations, consider it inadmissible to сover the instigators of the murder of Kateryna Gandzyuk and we urge the law enforcement agencies to investigate not only the murder, but also sabotage of the investigation.

On November 4, 2018, when the appalling news of Kateryna Gandyuk's death stirred up, the law enforcement officials made another round of statements saying that all necessary investigative actions were being carried out to punish those responsible for the murder. However, in the course of the year, apart from the sentences to five perpetrators of the crime, no indictment for those whom the investigators considered as persons involved in organizing and sponsors of that murder have been referred to the court. Thus, the eventual instigator of the attack, Oleksiy Levin, whom they pressed suspicion, went abroad after the police had disclosed the case files. Now he is hiding from the investigation. Arrested shortly after the death of Gandziuk, Igor Pavlovsky, who, according to investigators, was an intermediary in the organization of the crime, was subsequently released by the court under personal obligation and did not appear in court for the fourth time. Vladyslav Munger, whom investigators, as well as Kateryna's relatives and friends call one of the instigators of the murder, has been released from custody on a bail of 2.5 million hryvnias and is now likely to escape a fair trial. The other accomplices of the murder have not yet been named.

It is important to note that even such small progress in the case were made possible by the strong pressure of the “Who ordered Katya Gandyuk? ” initiative, monitoring of human rights defenders and the mass media, investigations the journalists made and the vigilance of the international community.

Today, we see statements made by the heads of the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine and representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine about significant progress in the investigation. Unfortunately, we had heard the same statements with no consequences that the previous superiors of law enforcement bodies made.

Given this:

  • We urge the law enforcement officials, the heads of investigative units and specific prosecutors and investigators who work within the case impartially and effectively to investigate the brutal and cynical murder of the activist, public figure and anti-corruption activist Kateryna Gandzyuk;
  • We demand to punish not only the criminals who ordered, organized and committed the attack, but also the officials who covered them;
  • We warn the authorities, including the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Ruslan Ryaboshapka, the head of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov from the empty promises made around to the tragic date;
  • We call on the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to set up an interim investigative commission to investigate the attacks on Kateryna Gandzyuk and other activists and to hear in the near future the report on progress of the investigation into the attacks on civic activists;
  • We appeal to the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, to strengthen the personal control over the investigation of Kateryna Gandziuk's case and to take all possible measures to protect civil society in Ukraine.

Impunity in the case of Kateryna Gandziuk and other activists, conclusions failed to be made by the authorities and the law enforcement officials on several previous assaults, have generated another wave of violence against civil society. We urge finally to put a safety devise in form of efficacious investigation and justice.

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Media Initiative for Human Rights

ZMINA Human Rights Center

GO Truth Hounds

NGO "Institute of Mass Information"

Iryna Zemlyana, Institute of Mass Information

Photo credit: Ukrinform

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